In the late '80s, Blitt's father created Mile High Media as a Canadian-based adult movie distribution company.
His father is still president, and, yes, the company is still a major porn distributor for that same region known as America's Hat.
"I'm trying to remember when exactly my father started this business," Blitt tried to recollect from his Montreal office, "because, originally, my father was in the mainstream video business. He had a chain of stores and was doing mainstream distribution and just kind of fell into the adult side of things. First he carried a couple of titles, then he saw the margins in adult compared to what the margins were in Hollywood movies, and we just switched everything over eventually. And when he started the company, back in the late '80s, this was way before digital and DVD."
Over the last six years, however, Mile High Media has branched out from Canadian distribution into production work, with their gonzo and couples lines fast-becoming much-in-demand labels across the globe, including such gonzo fare as Reality Junkies, Doghouse Digital (shot largely in Europe), Sweet Sinner (Mile High's boy-girl/ couples line), Sweetheart Video (their girl-girl/couples brand) and now Homemade Adult (composed strictly of amateur performers).
Mile High also owns and runs the highly successful affiliate program company, Premium Cash, which was originally an offshoot of Braincash, with which Mile High was formerly partners.
"We originally created Premium Cash," says Blitt, "to do a very similar thing that Braincash was doing, such as bringing on studios, doing partnership sites, stuff like that."
We wanted to hear the story directly from the 34- year-old Blitt himself, so we spoke to him in mid-July for the skinny.
XBIZ: Since you've been with Mile High Media since the age of 18, this must be the only job you've had since graduating high school.
BLITT: It's true. During that same time, immediately after graduating from high school, I began studying for my university degree in commerce and marketing. Oh, it was brutal. It was a three-year program and I had to do it in four, since I worked full-time and took night classes.
XBIZ: Has the business degree proven helpful to your work?
BLITT: You know what? — not really. (laughs) For me, I think the problem was that I was learning all of these theories in school and trying to practice them in real life. Yet a lot of those theories just don't apply to the real world. Look, it didn't hurt, and I'm happy that I have the degree. But there's nothing like on-the-job experience. The degree was one of those things that I started and I just wanted to finish.
XBIZ: Did your father approach you or did you approach him in terms of coming on board Mile High Media?
BLITT: I actually think I approached my father about it. I mean, what 18-year-old kid wouldn't want to be in the porno business? I think I was about 14 when he started to slowly get into this particular business — and I started to realize what was going on. It was a no-brainer for me as far as what I wanted to do. (laughs)
XBIZ: How do your duties at Mile High today compare to what they were when you first started at age 18?
BLITT: Oh, God — I was a shipper when I started. My father is one of those guys who starts you from the ground up. My brother and I are both here, and we both basically have done every job imaginable in the company. I mean, I've done shipping, order entry … the only task which I haven't done here is accounting, but my father is a certified accountant by trade, so he's really good with numbers. My brother's been here 20 years, and he's VP of Operations, running all of the inner workings of the company, making sure that all of our replication gets done. He also takes care of the shipping department.
XBIZ: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Jon Blitt at the office?
BLITT: I get in around 8:45 a.m. and stay here till about 6:30 p.m. I'm kind of into a little bit of everything here. I do some PR...
XBIZ: Which obviously includes the interview we're currently doing.
BLITT: Right. (laughs) I also take care of all of the marketing and advertising. We have a graphics department here that I run. We have three full-time, in-house designers. I handle most of the deals for our websites. These days I'm also doing a lot of traveling around the U.S., sitting down with distributors and seeing what's working for them, what isn't working for them and what we can do to help them.
XBIZ: How many employees do you have working at Mile High?
BLITT: I'd say, right now, we're probably still around 34 employees. Montreal is a very small city, and our company is maybe 10 minutes outside of downtown Montreal. It's kind of in the suburbs, but we're in an industrial park.
XBIZ: So, tell us, what was Mile High Media doing when it first started out?
BLITT: We've carried pretty much every brand in the business. We started out carrying only Pleasure Productions then we started bringing on other lines. We've carried everything from Red Light to Vivid to Anabolic; I've got three million DVDs in my warehouse right now. We just finished our contract with Vivid, so we're not currently carrying them. As far as comp titles go, I've been buying Canadian rights over the past 15 years, as well international comp rights on other studio material. You name it, we've got it. We've got 15 different comp brands and have any niche imaginable: MILF, anal, big boobs, orgy, gang bangs — we do it all.
XBIZ: Are you involved in the production process of your movie lines a Mile High Media?
BLITT: Yes. I'm involved in terms of concept, talent, et cetera. We have directors who work for us down in L.A., so it's basically us handing them the project and saying, "This is what we want" and/or "This is what the theme of the movie is." And we'll send them scripts, if necessary. When it comes to Sweetheart and Sweet Sinner, Nica Noelle is writing and doing pretty much everything as far as the production goes. Sweetheart and Sweet Sinner are more geared toward couples and involve more story-driven material — very real. And one of the things which makes our material a little bit different than the rest of the stuff out there is that we really let the performers have sex: We don't stop them every two seconds to open up for a camera angle. We're shooting straight through and letting them have sex. Sweet Sinner is basically the boy-girl version of Sweetheart, which is all girl-girl. And in Reality Junkies, we're basically taking real-life scenarios and shooting them in a gonzo- or reality-based style. We also have a cuckold series, as well as an office-based series called "Office Perverts." The second Reality Junkies title was "Too Big For Teens," which basically involved teens with big dicks who're put in real-life scenarios with great-looking women.
XBIZ: So where do people go to these buy Mile High Media movies?
BLITT: They go to various sites to buy the movies. We've never sold direct to consumer, we've always taken our Canadian distributor's mentality as we've branched out into the world. The only site that is really up and functioning right now is SweetheartVideo.com. Al the other ones are in development. But folks should soon look for SweetSinner.com, Reality Junkies.com and Doghouse Digital.com. As far as our material goes, all of the big online distributors carry our stuff, and all of the distributors selling to stores are carrying our product, as well.
XBIZ: Tell us more about your affiliate program, Premium Cash.
BLITT: Well, somewhere along the way, we brought on JulesJordan.com and JennaHaze.com, and we changed directions a bit. We started working on sites that were geared directly toward stars, and now we're just bringing in more of those big-name porn stars. We do all of the backend affiliate work, design the sites, provide all of the traffic, everything. They simply provide us with content, and we do a split with them on the revenues. Other than JulesJordan.com and JennaHaze .com, we also run GinaLynn.com, ClubKatsuni.com, EvaAngelina XXX.com and a lot of other sites.
XBIZ: What else would you say sets Premium Cash apart from other affiliate programs?
BLITT: Well, what makes our network strong is that all of our partners agree to give all-sites access to their members; what that means is that one membership to one site includes access to all of the content on our network. So, if you sign up for JennaHaze.com, you get access to everyone else's site on our network. The same goes if you sign up with Eva Angelina's site or Lexi Belle's site or Audrey Bitoni's site — all of these girls basically share their back-ends.
XBIZ: What's the downside of what you do as a vice president?
BLITT: I wish I had something to say about that, but I really love what I do. Absolutely. Where else can I work in jeans and a T-shirt? (laughs) I also like a lot of the people in this business, and I like the general feel of the industry. Also, we have a very family-type environment here in the office.